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In Cold Blood Summary: An Overview of the Plot

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In Cold Blood tells the true story of the murder of the Clutter family which lived in Holcomb, Kansas, in 1959. The book is written as a novel, with direct dialogues. Although the writing style had been commonly used, In Cold Blood is considered true masterwork of this genre. For Truman Capote, it was one among the great works he did. The book took this author six years to comprehensively research and write.

The Informative Synopsis for the In Cold Blood

The Clutter family is made up of Herbert and Bonnie. Their teenage children include Nancy and Kenyon. They lead a life guided by principles and prosperity on their farm situated in Holcomb, western Kansas. Moreover, they are a prominent family that attracts respect from the community. Their life is also disciplined but provided for sufficiently. This narration follows the Clutters family and the events of November 14th, 1959. The rest of the plot overview follows below.

In a different part of Kansas, there are two men on parole from the Penitentiary; one is Dick Hickock and the other Perry Smith. They hatch a plan with a 12-gauge shotgun, gloves, a strong rope, and stockings. During the day, they drive towards Garden City by car. During the journey, they make several stops. They make it to the Clutter farm minutes after midnight.

On November 15th morning, two friends of Nancy get to their house and find her upstairs dead with a gunshot on the head. The authorities discover three other bodies. The four members of the Clutters family have been murdered, the children and Bonnie with a shotgun. The police do not find sufficient evidence at the scene of the crime. There are only boot prints and the material used to tie the victims. The murder comes as a great shock to the residents, and they have a feeling the killers are among them

Alvin Dewey leads the team to investigate the murder. The other members of the investigation team include Special Agent Clarence Duntz, Harold Nye, and Roy Church. Meanwhile, Perry and Dick have already gone far away and are reading about the murders in the newspaper. They are wondering if the crimes can be traced back to them. As the detectives carry on with the search for the tangible evidence and any available witness testimonials, the offenders head towards Mexico.

Details of the murderers are slowly disclosed as the narration continues. Perry has a dream of the grand adventures involving being carried away from his troubles he is facing by attractive parrots. He is compensating for his childhood traumas and sorry lifestyle. He comes out as self-conscious, overly sensitive, and being philosophic. On the other hand, Dick is confident and pragmatic. Due to his financial irresponsibility, he has resorted to survival through petty crimes.

Floyd Wells, a former employee of Herb becomes the first lead the investigators get. He was called with Dick. During the time, he informed Dick that the Clutters family kept a locked safe that was full of money at home. The detectives do a follow up on this testimony. They make a discovery that Dick and Perry were travelling on the night the murders took place.

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